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Five Common Roadside Emergencies and How To Deal With Them


Having a car can be a great thing but it can also come with some down moments. Imagine having your car break down on 3rd mainland bridge at 10pm, you need all the miracles in this world to make it start. Preparing for emergencies should be the number one piority of every driver whether you are male or female.

Whether your car is old or new, a breakdown can happen to your car at any time so it’s crucial to know what to do, and not everyone does.

Kitting yourself out with an emergency kit is crucial for any car owner as you’re not always going to have a mechanic around to help you out.  With the right gear, you’ll be ready for anything.  Included in the emergency kit are a spare tyre, jump leads, a socket wrench, engine oil and a first aid kit – mostly things that won’t take up too much space in the boot of your car.

So, what are the five most common roadside emergencies and what can we do ourselves to fix the problems ourselves?

1. Changing a flat tyre


You’re not going to be able to go too far with a flat tyre, so having the right tools and knowledge is essential in an emergency.  Be sure to equip yourself with a bottle jack, spare tyre (obviously), a hi-viz vest, a socket wrench and a pair of gloves (If you hand it fine, if you don't, use your hands). Once you have engaged the handbrake and turned the hazard lights on, you can remove the wheel trim and use the bottle jack to raise the wheels off the ground. Then you can fit the spare tyre from your boot, taking care not to over-tighten the wheel nuts. Call for roadside assistance if you have a flat tyre on the motorway.

2. Bogged vehicle


A bogged vehicle is when your car, bus, SUV got stuck in a mud, or wet ground, Lagos-Ibadan expressway comes to mind. All you’ll need for this is a foot and a bit of patience! In first gear, gently press on the accelerator allowing the spinning wheels to rock forward. Take your foot off the accelerator and let the vehicle roll backward, immediately put your foot on the accelerator to move forwards again. Repeat until you are able to get the vehicle up and moving again. If this doesn’t work, you’ll probably need towing.

3. Overheating engine

If you have an overheated engine, it’s important to turn it off immediately. Cool the engine down by popping the car bonnet open before doing anything else. Check the engine oil levels and the coolant levels – there might be a leak. If there is a leak, you’ll need to pay your mechanic a visit.

4. Dead battery


Using jump leads and a second vehicle you can try to charge the battery using the cables and a bit of time. If this doesn’t work, the spare phone in your emergency kit will help you to ring for assistance.

5. Car accident


Nobody prays for an accident, but in a situation whereby it happens, you have to face it. This is probably the most important one! If there’s an accident, don’t move any injured passengers, don't panic or try to run and abandon your car and run, the best you can do is to call for help and if you are within the Lagos Metropolis, you can call the LASEMA Unit on 112 or 767 for help. Nigerians are kind hearted people, they will always render their help, just pray you don't meet the photo-journalists ones.

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